Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Hypodermic Shroud Count Bring Millions to City Firm

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Hypodermic Shroud Count Bring Millions to City Firm

Article excerpt

Paying attention to their working environment led two Oklahoma City men to an idea which in turn led to development of a company with potential sales in the billions.

The device is a shroud which can be made onto a hypodermic syringe to prevent people from getting stuck accidentally by a needle.

"This will eliminate people getting stuck and it will make it a lot easier to dispose of a syringe after it's been used," said Stephen H. Gericke, one of the developers. "In 1987, the CDC (Center for Disease Control in Atlanta, Ga.) said there were 800,000 accidental needle sticks reported in hospitals in the United States.

"Since this device will prevent that, it will eliminate a lot of problems."

Gericke and Michael Carrell got the idea for the device while working at Oklahoma Memorial Hospital about two years ago. Gericke was a respiratory therapist and Carrell was a paramedic.

"We talked about this for a long time, then about a year ago, we went out on our own and started developing the idea," said Gericke. "We received a patent about a month ago and now we're negotiating with syringe manufacturers about using the device."

When they started, the developed Safe Medical Devices Inc. with only one idea for a product, but since then they have applied for patents on other products and are in negotiations with manufacturers.

"We don't have the facilities to manufacture here in Oklahoma, so we'll work through manufacturers," he said. "So we'll either sell the patent or license it to a manufacturer on a royalty basis. What we do depends upon what the manufacturer agrees upon."

Although Safe Medical Devices will not manufacture the product, Gericke said there are 1.5 billion syringes used worldwide each year with only four manufacturers.

"That's a big market for something like this," he said.

The device is a shroud which can be built onto the syringe at the time of manufacturer which doesn't require retooling. After the syringe is filled, the shroud can be lowered halfway to keep the needle point sterile while in transit to the patient.

After the syringe is used, the shroud slides over the needle, rendering it harmless for disposal. …

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